Paulo Elias

Worklog: 2019, Week 43. Building a Gatsby Starter

As I was gearing up to finally re-launch a proper personal website I did what most developers do... Tinker. Why be productive when you can just keep learning new things? 😬

Way back in the day this site used to run on WordPress. Then, as I moved to ExpressionEngine I think I built three different iterations of the site that I never launched. Every year as the May 1st Reboot approached I would start planning out my new site to finally get it launched. I worked on the site sporadically using my local development version as a testbed for things I was learning at the time. I must have built it 10+ different times using Django, Ruby on Rails, Feathers, Nest, GraphCMS with Next.js, Statamic, and multiple versions of Craft CMS.

Learning is great and all but at some point you have to ship.

Of course, as I was getting back into the cycle of preparing to build out my site, I started tinkering with an idea I was working on at the day job. IDEO loves to prototype. I love to prototype. Why not make it easier to prototype website and web app ideas?

Our team was already using Gatsby for our production site so I wanted to take my experience with it to see how we can leverage it for smaller projects and prototypes. As I kept thinking about it I kept coming back to the idea of spinning up a simple Gatsby project with a minimal starter theme that leveraged the CSS-in-JS library Emotion and the utility-first CSS framework, Tailwind CSS.

After about a week of figuring out how to wire everything up (in my spare time) I finally launched my Tailwind + Emotion Gatsby Starter. Unbeknownst to me Andrew Welch had a similar idea at the same time. Great minds, right?

This was a perfect project to take on before I buckled down and built out my site. Building the starter was limited in scope, it gave me a series of small wins that allowed me to keep my momentum, and I was able to learn a few Gatsby tricks that would have stalled my website build. Plus I got a free t-shirt out of it for adding it to the Official Gatsby Starter Showcase!

Got check out the Tailwind + Emotion Gatsby Starter, give it whirl, and let me know what you think.